Jean M. Auel totally deserves a cupcake.
She is an author I've known for decades, much like almost anybody I've ever read, since I haven't done as much reading in the last 15 years I did in the first 25.
And her series, Earth's Children, is covering the entire gamut of man's experiences and frustrations, as far as I can tell. Though I may be two books behind, what with the not reading so much lately thing.
As a a backdrop for this exploration, she writes in a setting where two branches of early man are intermingled, to some extent. They mostly avoid each other. But they are definitely different from each other, and different is scary.
Which probably is one of those instinctive reactions that were very helpful to scare toddlers away from dark and bears and stuff. I'm like a great big giant baby, I get spooked all the time. But I digress.
The first book was the most compelling, for me, because of the difficult subject matter. Which was vaguely about the conflict between social custom and being a misfit. But specifically about socially sanctioned rape, and the struggle for autonomy.
And it was about a ton of other things too, of course. Those books are THICK, and I have never really felt like my time was being wasted. Anthropology. An exploration of the spiritual and the mystical. Practical tips for surviving alone in the wilderness, which may be my favorite part, because I feel way better prepared for you know, the collapse of human civilization with a couple of these babies inside me.
Because I am a worrier. I don't really believe in the oncoming collapse of human civilization. I'm totally not over worrying about it. But my rational mind tells me that while we may never have perfect solutions, we are never going to give up trying. No matter what obstacles we find, or cause.